Walmart Wolverine


There’s some new kind of coffee beans in the container this morning…black and greasy…..shiny with coffee oil.

This should be one heck of a cup of coffee coming soon.

We went to Walmart last night.

That was our big “cabin fever” tonic…to get out of the house after a week of snow and go somewhere…we needed to get out and just go.

We had to go.

So we went to the Goodwill and then went to the Walmart .

That’s what they call “thinking out of the box”.

We are nothing if not creatures of habit.

When we were finishing up at Walmart, but before we’d actually had a chance to start ringing up our small pile of merchandise, Jenny asked the checkout girl for a price check on a usb charger that my son had found in the marked-down section.

She didn’t realize that the checkout lady was already in the process of doing a price check for the people ahead of us.

Apparently, those people had picked up the one box of chocolates in the discounted Valentines Day candies that had an illegible bar code, so the lady running the register had her co-worker waddle slowly back to the section to get a price on the already cheap….but soon to be cheaper….candy.

You would have thought Jenny had said something like, “OK…hold still…I’M GONNA CUT YOU NOW!!!” when she asked her if she could scan that usb thing.

This woman started huffing and puffing, subtly rolling her eyes….grabbed it, scanned it, threw it back at Jenny….”12.95!!!!! 12.95!!!”.

It kind of gave us something to talk about later.  It wasn’t very nice.

But, you know, thinking about it this morning…it wasn’t very “anything”.

That the people working the front end at Walmart are civil at all is a miracle.

They’re like caged wolverines….taking our money through the bars of their prisons, snarling “DEBIT OR CREDIT?!!! DEBIT OR CREDIT?!!!” as we try to expedite our evacuation.

Their managers even tell them when they can step away for a moment.

They are tied to that little area, working on a bad case of carpal tunnel syndrome, punching numbers and running barcodes across the scanning platter, having someone else occasionally waddle out into the giant store for a price check….and trying to give correct change every single transaction.

And at the end of the encounter, they are probably required to say, “HAVE A NICE DAY!!!! HAVE A NICE DAY!!!”

It’s not a résumé builder to work at Walmart.

You don’t get to join the “1 percenters” very often if you run a register at Walmart.

And it doesn’t get me any closer to nirvana to have a cashier monotone an insincere wish for me to have a “nice day” before I can leave.

It is a victory to find some quick common ground with these cashiers…to connect momentarily and let them know that I know that behind all the “wolverine”, there’s a human being ringing up my doodads.

I like connecting. I like letting them know that I see them.


I don’t know that I should expect much from a Walmart cashier, though.

They are all just a bunch of caged beasts…more minimum wage slaves.


About Peter Rorvig

I'm a non-practicing artist, a mailman, a husband, a father...not listed in order of importance. I believe that things can always get better....and that things are usually better than we think.

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